As Faithsdaddy says, it seems to me music is often used by those who want to escape the fact they are performing the arduous chore of running. When I first started, I always listened to music because I thought I needed the distraction. Now that I know I actually like running, I feel no need. It's a nice opportunity to think about things and it can also be helpful to listen to your breathing.
As far as I know it is the first time they've changed the date. While the circumstances were out of their control, they must have known about the the clash for a while before deciding on the change of date. National elections are planned more than six weeks ahead.